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School district to tackle ticks at Fiske Field

PHOTO: SCOTT FEIERSTEIN / RED SWEATSHIRT PHOTOGRAPHY Shelter Island T-Ball team before a game at Fiske Field.

PHOTO: SCOTT FEIERSTEIN / RED SWEATSHIRT PHOTOGRAPHY Shelter Island T-Ball team before a game at Fiske Field.

An infestation of ticks at Fiske Field — owned by the Shelter Island School District — has had some Islanders and visitors concerned.

Superintendent of Schools Leonard Skuggevik told the Board of Education Monday night that officials are looking at organic options for dealing with the ticks. A notice will be sent out to parents about what is to be used and when it will be applied at the field.

Town Animal Control Officer Beau Payne said deer density is higher in the Center than any other area of the Island and “where deer are, ticks are.”

Whether this year there are more ticks than usual at Fiske Field is unclear, Mr. Payne said.

What might be contributing to either an increase or a perception of an increase is anyone’s guess, he said.

The best thing the school district can do is what it does do — keep the field well manicured so there aren’t areas of high grass, Mr. Payne said.

As for organic solutions, he noted they are not subject to the same level of testing that the tickicide permethrin is, but noted it’s up to the district to take whatever steps it decides is necessary to deal with the issue.

Mr. Payne suggested district officials speak to contractors who are licensed to use various substances to kill ticks and make its decision based on the advice received.

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